Ukip distances itself from ‘immigrant detention’ chairman

By Tony Hudson

Ukip has distanced itself from its former Bristol chairman after a series of explosive comments regarding illegal immigration gained national attention.

"Phil Collins is no longer chairman of our Bristol branch, and following the comments reported in the press about immigration will not be standing for Ukip in the forthcoming council elections", said new Bristol chair Steve Wood.

"Ukip will be fighting on a whole range of local issues in May, but there is no place for someone representing the party holding views like those reported".

Phil Collins had attracted media attention by promoting the use of holding centres for illegal immigrants.

He said the holding centres would keep those who have entered the country until they had either produced papers proving they were legal immigrants or until they are deported.

"After they've all been used and we've got rid of all the immigrants then we could turn them into actual prisons", he said.

Under current immigration policy "police let them go but then they disappear and then they stay here forever", he added.

Despite saying his proposed system would treat immigrants "humanely and fairly and properly", he advocated the separation of immigrant families if their legal statuses were different.

"If one member of a family is illegal and the others aren't, well, the illegal one would have to be put into the holding community. If the mother is illegal and the father is not, they should be separated", he said.

"If they are ill then they can go to hospital but they should be escorted to hospital like prisoners".

This outburst is not atypical of Collins. In a previous interview he said eastern Europeans are "taking IT jobs that British people could have", and complained about a previous hospital visit where the nurses could not speak English.

He has also said the UK would be a Muslim in country "within three or four generations".

"We have one or two kids on average and they have ten. So imagine that: every generation there’s a hundred of theirs to four of ours, a thousand to our eight", he said.